Goodwill in bedlam

Herself and I had the honour recently to be invited to the Citizenship Ceremony of dear friends.

There is rare opportunity for the amorphous body of the State to impress upon its subjects the import and high value of being a citizen.

Australia like most former colonies has suppressed admiration for the pomp and ceremony practised by the colonial overlords of former years, but hides it under a veneer of mateship. State ceremonies should therefore be serious and memorable with an acceptable ritual, but men can wear shorts and women slacks and sandals.

So, on Australia Citizenship Day, as befits serious occasions, we arrived early at the Community Leisure Centre (that could have been a clue), to be greeted by a melee of smart fellow guests and citizens-to-be, under direction of slightly flustered bureaucrats, one of whom was a long serving town councillor.

It appears that nobody had told the local Kung-fu Klub that they could not have the hall for their practice that night and martial arts were in process. The sensei had growled at suggestions by the Councillor that a ceremony of State should have precedence  – he explained to us in  a whisper “they are very big men!”

So we had to make a plan as we were told Australians had always done – set up in a smaller hall and split the function into 2 sessions to abide by the Covid space limit of 35 people.

This was also under the faint anxiety induced by the need to ensure Safe Coronavirus Hygiene was observed and necessary tracking details were recorded as well as issue of all important documents for the Citizens- to- be.

There were not enough chairs to allow for all to be seated so attendees spread around the walls, all decorously looking solemn and anxiously trying to observe Covid safe distancing.

I was quite comfortable on the kitchen sink. When every seat was taken and safe spaces were diminishing dangerously, an explanation and apology was made by the Councillor who kept his cool, even as the walls were closing in…

As is fitting the elders of the land were acknowledged and the event proceeded.

The certificates were given out with only a minor confusion of some Singhs, and the two Oaths of Affirmation (a separate one for non-Believers) were completed with everyone invited to join in.

The old Councillor was so relieved that he despatched us all to tea and cake in the Karate Hall, only to be met with an outcry – we haven’t sung the Anthem!

Everyone was remarkably calm and accepting of this bureaucratic balls-up of a ceremony, waiting patiently for their certificate and posing sweetly for a photo with the old Councillor, clutching their gift of a spindly indigenous seedling and a Labor Party holdall.

The Guest of Honour, a state MP who made an inaudible speech, was soon forgotten and slunk away into a corner.

Everyone sung the Anthem with serious demeanour and then we were released.

It was an interesting batch of new citizens, mostly European but with some Filipinos, Middle Easterners, Chinese and Indians – all on their best behaviour to avoid losing the prize at the slightly vague finishing line.

They weren’t yet Australian enough to barrack at the bureaucrats for stuffing up what should be a smooth, sedate ritual reinforcing the competence and effectiveness of a modern State.

People seemed genuinely happy if somewhat bemused by the awkward shambles – it was almost heart-warming and definitely memorable in an unintended way.

Am I grateful?

Some people will resist the powerful temptation to read another of my almost irresistible musings. I am eternally grateful to those who feed my ego by reading and indicating their appreciation or outrage (comme ci, comme ça, c’est la guerre!)

For some of us, gratitude just doesn’t come easy. It is an emotion, so is frequently at odds with intellect. Beware the emotional vampire!

One of the reasons for resisting gratefulness is genetic make-up, another is brain size or it may be our personality. I suppose we shouldn’t forget nurture either! Some people are taught pride and learn to perceive kindnesses as charity, which is not acceptable to the proud! … and often irritates the charitable, no doubt!

Nevertheless, intellect, being more modern, considered and cautious can coax gratitude out of its shell, to bloom and brighten one’s life and the lives of their nearest and dearest.

Research has shown that making conscious efforts to count one’s blessings is therapeutic: grateful people are indeed less likely to have mental health problems like depression.

Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy — we will always want to have something else or something more (Br. David Steindl-Rast). He also believes that the human response of gratitude is a part of the religious worldview and is essential to all human life.

According to Cicero “Gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues but the parent of all others.”

I get all this and I dig it. We don’t know how lucky we are!

I wrote this on my birthday a couple of years ago: https://sillysocksonfriday.com/2018/11/09/introibo-ad-altare-dei/

The revolution has started

I am not without hope.

At the very start of the global depression when the outlook for continued prosperity and peace is looking bleak, I believe that there are opportunities for change.

It is opportune that the depression has coincided with a global plague which has enabled most governments to revert to more directive, prophylactic action anticipating the future and persisting in tough policy moves ignoring the squeals of libertarians and the newly empowered.

We are coincidentally where the 3rd Industrial Revolution (3IR) is beginning to have impact. Some even call it the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0).

I have been reading and listening to Jeremy Rifkin on the above. This guy advises the European Union and China on a smart green 3IR economy.

Combined with the communications infrastructure necessary to connect all of humanity to these breakthroughs, the result is the potential for a truly global society.

If you are concerned about what may happen in future and how it can be brought about, watch Rifkin on youtube – I found him rivetting and easy to understand.

 The technological revolution rewrites the material conditions of human existence and can reshape culture. It can play a role as a trigger of a chain of various and unpredictable changes

What distinguishes a technological revolution from a random collection of technology systems and justifies conceptualizing it as a revolution are two basic features:

1. The strong interconnectedness and interdependence of the participating systems in their technologies and markets.

2. The capacity to transform profoundly the rest of the economy (and eventually society).

Thoughts in Spring

On my early morning walk with Lulu, I marked the signs of Spring even tho’ its still July. The different Mimosa blooms with soft anisescent, birdsong and aerial acrobatics. Last years’ pukekos chasing each other with high pitch squeals, much as all young children do.

I noticed that one young female (I assume) was not running as fast or squealing as desperately as usual. But as he came closer, the young male chasing seemed a bit nonplussed and not sure what to do … He chickened out, pretending he had seen a morsel and sauntering off in a different direction. To my amusement the little fugitive looked flummoxed and then indignant.

I thought how much like the human species too. How often does it happen that young females lure young males into a chase, squeaking and flapping to gain attention? It frequently achieves results.

But the stratagem carries some risk: some expenditure of reputation is made in this siren behaviour; other females may join in and lure away the intended target, others may be critical about the behaviour indulged in.

 Sometimes the desired male lacks the confidence to make a final commitment, leaving a distinctly discomforted female. Sometimes the wrong males chase, which results in rejections which leaves all discomforted. Sometimes it ends in aggression and tears.

Courtship rituals are delicate and full of subtlety and nuance, which suit the female species. However, males tend to switch to overdrive at the first whiff of powder. The shy sheer away but the bold take some deterring, especially the powerful and arrogant.

Nah! I am not going to go there.

What really is bugging me is that the whole BLM palaver like the #Metoo histrionics, is digging up history to define the rectitude of their causes. Watch for new minorities appearing with a litany of historical grievances: “Participants who identified as LGBTQI+, Māori, Pacific, or having a disability were more likely to report feeling unsafe within their bubbles than other population groups,” from today’s news.

Oh dear, shall we burn a few shops and topple some statues?!

A delayed hue and cry is jumping on someone else’s bandwagon. With greater travesties and global disasters and a burgeoning population, there is not the time nor resources to re-examine historic slights and indignities only raised long after their occurrence.

It is time that the statute of limitations was reinforced, otherwise we will still be dealing with historic complaints 75 years after the fact, like a recent SS guard or executing offenders now for crimes committed last century – or is revenge a dish best eaten (very) cold?

Was that a mockingbird?

“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mocking bird.”[1]

What happens when a society starts to loathe itself   with a quasi-religious fervour? … when its citizens…. Feel obliged to get down on their knees in a gesture of supplication to persons unspecified… nothing less than a cultural revolution … ritual denunciations of anyone expressing the slightest disagreement with the ever changing orthodoxies of the identity politics creed …[2]

… we see the obsessive desecration and destruction of monuments and symbols of an irredeemably tainted past and an absoloute intolerance of dissent

…The goal … is not to bring to an end to relations of dominance and subjugation between the races … but to establish a reversed racial moral hierarchy,

… everything has to be subsumed to the narrative of privilege and oppression[3]

This narrative sanctifies the disorder and mayhem perpetrated in its name.

In an attempt to mollify riotous mobs we admit that we are guilty of the newly identified wrongs of economies and society of yesteryear, when slaves were the prime commerce of African potentates and provided much of the labour in the development of new colonies.

We genuflect to demonstrate our solidarity with the outraged people who proclaim their continued oppression and victimisation by white society.

What shallow intellect we have to think that bending the knee will suffice?

There will soon need to be appeasement in more substantial form and accommodation of those who claim unfair discrimination by the colour of their skin, or their gender, or their sexual preference, minority ethnicity, physical disparity or whatever has a rhetoric of historical disadvantage.

In the meantime we dig up the corpses of the past, denigrate them and cast their gravestones into the sea

This blackmail of liberal conscience will continue until Western society disintegrates and follows the path of Africa once liberated from oppression and subjugation. Arabs and Africans who initiated slavery and still practice female subjugation and genital mutilation applaud. Chinese communists who practice ethnic cleansing and brutal suppression of dissent actively support this mindless mob.

It could not have happened at a worse time as the democracies face the most serious challenge since the high noon of totalitarianism in the 1930’s with the rise of the Chinese Communist Party regime as a potentially dominant global regime, intent on leveraging modern technology to create a perfect totalitarianism beyond even George Orwell’s nightmares within its own society, and to extend its power and influence to the wider world[4]

George Floyd, whose brutal arrest was manipulated for mayhem, by media hungry for news, was not a mockingbird. He became a lever by which to manipulate the sympathies of an overfed, restless middle class eager to embrace something that gives them a change from from the broken liberal democracy and economic models we have.

Change is gonna come, but I will fight it if it means we must kneel to those that want to break and take.

… you can’t twist the truth, it knows no regulation,
Handful of Senators don’t pass legislation,
And marches alone can’t bring integration,

When human respect is disintegratin’,
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin’,
And you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

Eve of Destruction PF Sloan 1964… it made my Mum cry 50 years ago

Play song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfZVu0alU0I


[1] Harper Lee To kill a mockingbird Lippincott 1960

[2] Greg Sheridan Weekend Australian 11 July 2020

[3] Peter Baldwin Weekend Australian 11 July 2020

[4] Ibid

Really horrifying!

  • Genocide
  • Holocaust
  • Ruthless Extermination

These are the labels that came to my mind when I started reading about organ transplants in China.

The source was Epoch Times, a patently biased publication by the Falun Gong movement. So I did a Google search – oh my goodness! I was dumbfounded by what I read.

In 2006, China reportedly performed over 20,000 organ transplants. This is big money business: “….traveled to Tianjin, China, where he obtained a liver for $130,000 USD after waiting for just 20 days.

“… the website of the China International Transplantation Network Assistance Center posted the following price list on its website in 2006: Kidney: $62,000; Liver: $98,000–130,000; Liver+kidney: $160,000–180,000; Kidney+pancreas: $150,000; Lung: $150,000–170,000; Heart: $130,000–160,000; Cornea: $30,000.

“recorded admissions that organs could be procured from Falun Gong prisoners.

Since 1999, hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been detained in re-education through labor camps, prisons, and other detention facilities in China, making them the largest group of prisoners of conscience in the country

Clearly the Chinese government has better business acumen than the Nazis.

They imprison people for their membership of a specific group, execute many of them and sell their organs to a willing international market!

China executes more people each year than the rest of the world combined, with its state-sanctioned system cloaked in official secrecy, said a report released by Amnesty International (in 2017)

How do we justify the fact that China is a major trading party of most major world countries? They are permitted and encouraged to invest in our countries.

It took the world a long time to wake up to Nazi Germany’s exterminations and that was without internet technology.

We are far more tolerant, liberal and sophisticated now – extermination is fostered and patronised and its sponsors are major players in the world.

Hmmm … Maybe they did instigate the Coronavirus pandemic! They will probably sell us a vaccine soon

What do you say, buddy? Come back Adolph, all is forgiven!

Sorry

or Danny Boy’s Return

Tall and gaunt with sunken eyes and wispy red grey hair

Face contorted and angry

Embittered by the acrid smoke from inner embers of defeat and disappointment

He shambles along to his end, snarling getoutof myway,

Despite the sympathetic nods and smiles who remember his glories,

Followed by the serene, calm ageless girl,

Who will tend his grave and soothe his soul.  

Ozymandias

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

In the US, public offices like the Governor, Mayor, Police Chief and Attorney General are elected. So they need to listen to what the electorate tells them – which the media says it does. So they do what the media says most people want them to do.

Who owns the media?

The rich own the media and control what we see and think. What happens is that the media make the laws that the rich tell them to.

Good election policies are: “cleaning up the streets, reducing the drug problem, eradicating crime…”

To do that you have to have more police with wider powers and stricter judges….

The supposed beacon of democracy, the US has the highest prison population in the world. 75% of people arrested are unable to afford bail – Less than 2% of those charged  receive jail sentences!  

About 2.8% of adults (1 in 35) in the U.S. population were under correctional supervision (probation, parole, jail, or prison) in 2013. *

(Isn’t that a gulag by another name?)

There were 10.3 million arrests in 2018 in the US . ** There are bound to be some tragedies along that road.

The media know what we think before we do and can work us up to a pitch until we spontaneously combust – just crafting and channelling the news.

Well now, it’s time for a change – polls show that the viewing public wants something different to police chases and drug murders on the news…

Look at the media sensation that “taking the knee” picture has created – maybe it is the match that starts the revolution that throws out the current western capitalist led democracy and heralds a new economic model.

Some are even saying more than “Black Lives Matter”, they are saying silence over a black criminal’s death is racism, they are saying political candidates should commit to de-funding police forces.

So … what am I saying? I think it is something like this:

  • Democracy as we know it doesn’t give society a good outcome
  • The reliance on the creation of crimes and punishment to regulate society is wrong
  • The freedom of the individual must be subordinate to the best interests of the community.
  • With universal surveillance cameras, privacy is obsolete (this may be part of the solution)
  • The stranglehold that the media has on public opinion makers must be broken. We have been under the sway of media sensationalist newsmakers for too long.
  • All lives matter, not just black lives. This type of slogan gives rise to value systems which promote the interests of a class of people to the disadvantage of the rest. It is apartheid and is reprehensible.

Are we watching an Empire beginning to crumble?

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarceration_in_the_United_States

** https://www.statista.com/statistics/191261/number-of-arrests-for-all-offenses-in-the-us-since-1990/

This riot is brought to you by Nike

Daniel McCarthy

https://spectator.us/riot-brought-nike-looting-minneapolis-new-york-dc/

In Chicago last weekend 82 people were shot, 22 of them fatally. Between May 2019 and late May 2020, homicide claimed the lives of over 300 black men in the city. That’s not a police brutality problem, that’s a problem of insufficient police power being deployed to stop violent criminals. If the death of one man, George Floyd, while under arrest in Minneapolis is cause for nationwide protests, why don’t the deaths of hundreds of George Floyds every year prick the conscience of protesters that much more?

Better yet, why don’t the antifa kids who are mighty bold with the police go and toss bricks at the gangbangers in Chicago? Because unlike the police, the gangs will shoot them dead. The rioters setting America ablaze are cowards: they riot only because they know they face no danger from the police.

These protests and riots are not a revolution, they’re a celebration. This is a victory lap for a moral revolution in education, one that has created a mythology in which police and other traditional authorities are automatically assumed to be evil while young vandals who riot on the pretext of social justice are holy innocents. A change in religion often means the heroes of the old faith become the demons of the new while yesterday’s vices become today’s virtues. Intersectionality, to give the new faith just one of its legion of names, has replaced Christianity, particularly the bourgeois, patriotic Christian morality that supplied America’s elite institutions with their ethos until rather recently. The revolution didn’t take place on the streets — and nothing is as stupid as conservatives who think they need to learn Saul Alinsky’s organizational tactics. That’s just theater. The real power lies not with protesters or rioters but with the moral authority that creates protesters in the first place and that prevents police from suppressing the rioters.

Why are police reluctant to put down the mayhem in the streets? Because they’re not allowed to: they answer to politicians who are afraid of being called bad names in the press and who need the support of the rioters’ upper-middle-class enablers. Those enablers include not only Democrats but also a great many elite libertarians and non-Trump Republicans; and not only the media and academy, with their known liberal bias, but also corporate America. 

Take Nike. You might think the sneaker company would be upset about having its stores ransacked. But think again. You’re stealing Nikes? That just proves that Nike is the footwear brand of the revolution. That cool, edgy looter you see with his liberated Nikes is a walking advertisement, better than any money can buy. Others who admire the authenticity and passion and living purity of the looter — white suburban teens, for example, or progressive Ivy League lawyers — will now go out and buy Nikes so they can be part of the revolution, too.

Anyway, it’s not like the revolution is going to expropriate the sneaker factories — those have already been profitably relocated to countries under communist rule. Woke capitalism and the communism that employs the most brutal policing imaginable against the likes of Uighurs and Tibetans make perfect allies. Of course, corporate America wants you to know it totally rejects imperialism and racism. Just not the Chinese variety — or any other non-Western kind. As the Financial Times reports, amid this week’s riots, ‘Some companies devoted their advertising resources to responding to the crisis, with Nike — whose usual slogan is “Just Do It” — distributing a video telling Americans: “For once, Don’t Do It. Don’t pretend there’s not a problem in America.”’ Yes, Nike, there is a problem in America. Thank God we have corporations to watch out for our consciences.

A nation like ours has many power centers. The alignment of those power centers is what determines cultural force and, in the long run, political success as well. Corporate executives, celebrities, academics, editorialists, and even many religious leaders — not at all exclusively from liberal denominations — in general oppose the police and support the protests, and if they think the rioters go to excess, they’re inclined to think it’s just a case of misplaced zeal or an excusable response to oppression. The master framework that applies before any facts are considered — facts like the real cause of most violent deaths among blacks in America today, or even investigation into the facts about George Floyd’s death — is a moral framework that designates saints and sinners, victims and oppressors. 

(Regarding Floyd’s death, according to TMZ the Hennepin County medical examiner determined that he suffered a heart attack during the arrest, with fentanyl in his system. Floyd complained about being unable to breathe before he was pinned down by the arresting officers — and shortness of breath certainly seems like a plausible effect of fentanyl or a heart attack, or both. That by itself doesn’t mean that Officer Chauvin didn’t use excessive force, but it’s not the scenario that most of the protesters’ supporters seem to take for granted. An examiner hired by Floyd’s family disputes the findings. Both examiners say homicide was the ‘manner of death’.)

Police and the men and women of all colours who own small businesses that can’t profit from a looting the way that Nike can are not part of the ruling cultural coalition. What old institutional protections the police do have — qualified immunity, strong unions — are under attack. The result of reducing the protections of the police will very predictably mean that police become more reluctant to take the risks necessary to uphold the law — which is exactly the opposite of what should be happening if the violence in places like Chicago, where 20 or more George Floyds can die in single weekend, is to be quelled. 

Voters turned to Republicans after the riots of the Sixties, but the revolution in religion and public morality was only in its early days then — it was still a revolution, not the establishment. Even ordinary voters who are not part of the elite may feel that it’s easier to go along with the new morality than to resist it in the name of the old, especially when the old Christianity and the old America knew they were flawed. The new elite morality is hypocritical, often counterproductive, but it has no self-doubt and admits no flaws. That confidence has not only won the new faith of the streets: it long ago won the centers of power.

Yet the victory has not been total, and even winners can overreach. In 2016, the public did the unthinkable and elected Donald Trump. In 2020, it has the opportunity to surprise the oligarchy and secular priesthood once again. But it will take more than an election or two to reverse the institutional balance of power, and without that, political victories will amount to little more than holding the line while the riot spreads around us. 

Daniel McCarthy Published in Spectator June 2, 2020 10:16 am

Thank you – I couldn’t have said it anywhere as well

Also read: https://spectator.us/roots-riot-antifa-minneapolis-atlanta-cnn-george-floyd/

I guess this confirms that I am a redneck after all!!

Nothing but the truth

…so help me, God!

Presumably that is tacked on because God sees and knows everything. That puts Her/Him in a pretty powerful position. As we will recall from the repeated advice in our schooldays: Knowledge is strength!

I had a sort of epiphany just as I cycled across the creek on my early morning ride. That is how we know about right or wrong, because God can see everything and is not fooled by our rationalised, exculpatory bullshit.

What is more, he keeps the score, so he can direct traffic at the end of the line: for every one going up 40 go down, even more if you are fat and rich (remember the eye of the needle?)

But I digress. I think that the Man (dated I know, but it includes the Woman) should be entitled to the truth. We should have to answer the Police truthfully, we should not be able to hide from inquiry and the Man should be able to track our movements, hear everything we say and see everything we do.

I do not say all this should be public knowledge; what I mean is that properly constituted authority should have access to that information for the purpose of effective government.

That means that the Man could have the same power as God as far as knowledge of the Truth is concerned.

So if we have a chip that enables us to be tracked wherever we go, all our conversations and movements are recorded and truth serum is administered when we are being questioned by authorities, we will be unable to deny any wrongs or rights that we have done.

Sadly, Satan clearly demonstrated the fallibility of those who aspire to be too much like God and he was an Archangel! We are too frail, corruptible and weak to be able to handle the truth.

But it is getting worse… can anyone actually tell us the real truth about coronavirus statistics and impact?